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Carleton Athletics

Season-Bests Galore at Minnesota Challenge

February 4, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Full results (PDF)

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Carleton College men’s swimming and diving team took part in the two-day Minnesota Challenge meet held at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center. This competition concludes the regular season for the Knights and features NCAA Division I, II and III teams from across the Upper Midwest.

This meet provides those team members not on the MIAC Championship squad to taper and compete at one of the top facilities in the nation.

“The results for the taper group were exactly what you hope for from both a coaching and swimmer perspective,” said Carleton head coach Andy Clark. “They all had season- or lifetime-best swims in all of their individual events, a feat that is not always easy to achieve especially when expectations are high.

“The tapered team members, though, did not disappoint and they delivered a clear and powerful message to the rest of the team in that there is much to look forward to—in terms of best times—as the squad heads into the final week-plus of preparation for the MIAC Championship meet. This is exactly the kind of momentum we were hoping to have, and I am looking forward to seeing what both teams can achieve at the championships.”

There were many highlights among the taper group on day two.

Steven Moran (Jr./Columbia Heights, Minn./Columbia Heights), Alex Simonides (So./Palo Alto, Calif./Los Altos) and Jeffrey Domingues (Fy./Plymouth, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong) each posted season-best times in the 100-yard freestyle, finishing at 54.00, 54.20 and 56.21, respectively. Ben Strasser (Jr./Avondale Estates, Ga./Paideia) recorded his top times this season in the 100- (56.08) and 200-yard butterfly (2:07.55) Michael Domingues (Jr./Plymouth, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong) added a season-best in the 200-yard breaststroke, as did Andrew Cely (Fy./Plano, Texas/Plano) in the 400-yard individual medley (4:43.48).

The balance of the squad, though non-rested, still turned in numerous season-best performances.

Andy Hardt (Jr./Mount Kisco, N.Y./American School in London) was the Knights’ top finisher in the 400-yard individual medley, cutting more nearly 10 seconds off his seed time. He was third among Division III racers and 16th overall at 4:26.00. He also cut nearly five seconds off his 200 butterfly time (2:05.45) and trimmed more than a minute off his previous best in the 1,650-yard freestyle, touching the wall at 17:44.54, right behind Jaymes Awbrey (Jr./Farmington, Minn./Farmington Senior) who dropped 47 seconds and was Carleton’s top finisher in the event at 17:44.13.

Tom Holmes (Jr./Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Washington) was Carleton’s top finisher in both the 100- and 200-yard backstroke. He tied for 18th with a season-best time of 55.43 in the shorter race and came back at night to swim the longer distance in 2:04.39, just ahead of Christian Edwards (So./Atlanta, Ga./The Lovett School), who sliced exactly five seconds off his seed time.

Jesse Gourevitch (So./Ardsley, N.Y./Ardsley) led the Knights and posted a season-best time of 1:01.70 in the 100-yard breaststroke as he finished 16th. During the evening session he placed 15th in the 200 breaststroke with a season-best time of 2:16.98.

Benito Ramirez (So./Saint Louis Park, Minn./Minneapolis South) was third among Division III racers in the 200-yard butterfly, posting a season-best time of 2:00.46.

Erik Klontz (Jr./Bethesda, Md./Bethesda-Chevy Chase) was bested only by Division I racers as he took eighth place in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 46.02. He was also the Knights’ top finisher in the 100-yard butterfly, touching the wall at 52.98 good for ninth place.  Additionally, he split a 19.90 in his freestyle leg on the 200-yard medley relay, the fastest split in the history of Carleton Men's Swimming.

The Knight divers will participate in the Northfield Invite on Tuesday, Feb. 7. The rest of the team will spend the next two weeks getting prepared for the MIAC Swimming and Diving Championships, which will be held at the U of M Aquatics Center from February 16-18.


The taper group came close to 100 percent season-best times—if not lifetime-best times—in every event. “That’s a great result to see,” said Carleton head coach Andy Clark, “heading into the MIAC Championships. Seeing the front group of tapers hit their mark gets the rest of the kids excited for what’s to come for them.”

 One of the more notable performances on day one was turned in by Simonides, who dropped nearly 30 seconds in from his previous best in the 500-yard freestyle. “That’s almost unheard of,” said Clark. “That’s an incredible time drop and obviously a lifetime-best swim for him.

Also in the 500 freestyle, Michael Domingues registered a significant season- and lifetime-best time of 5:27.15.

Cely bested his previous mark in the 200-yard individual medley by almost eight seconds, lowering his time down to a 2:15.60.

A trio of Knights garnered best times in the 50-yard freestyle: Strasser at 24.17, Jeffrey Domingues at 25.42, and Moran at 24.65. 

The Knights entered the weekend with the MIAC’s top-time in the 200-yard freestyle, and Carleton’s top quartet did not disappoint. Klontz, Kanazawa, Ramirez, and Ross Brown (So./Chippewa Falls, Wis./Chippewa Falls) were un-tapered, yet they shaved another four-tenths of a second off their seed time. They placed fourth behind St. Cloud State (D-II) and a pair or relays from host U of Minnesota (D-I) after posting a time of 1:25.05.

Kanzawa was Carleton’s top finisher in the 500 freestyle, touching the wall at 4:48.52, which was good for 15th overall. Brown posted the Knights’ top time in the 200 IM, finishing at 2:03.21.

Klontz, who entered the weekend undefeated this season in the 50 freestyle was finally knocked off the top perch as he placed fifth overall at 20.90. That was the top time by a MIAC swimmer by more than 0.8 seconds.

Carleton’s 400-yard medley relay also took fourth at 3:34.22 Gourevitch combined with Kanazawa, Ramirez, and Klontz for that performance.

“Looking at the teams as a whole, it was a very impressive display of high-quality swimming for this time of year," said Clark. "We are just beginning the rest phase for the team members who are heading to the MIAC Championships and the majority of them posted new season-best times.

“Often when you head into the early phases of rest, you can have a mixture of performances as your body begins to recover from the hard training. I think that the excitement of today's swimming from the tapered group made a huge difference in how the rest of the team performed and that showed tonight in each event"